Former New Zealand rugby international Sonny Bill Williams suffered his first loss in professional boxing when he was knocked out in the fourth round by UFC fighter Mark Hunt, 48, in an upset clash.
Williams entered Saturday night’s fight as the bookmakers’ favorite to defeat Hunt, who had already lost to the All Black legend’s arch-rival Paul Gallen in 2020.
Hunt floored Williams in the fourth round, Williams able to survive the countout, only for the referee to intervene shortly after as Hill continued to unload shots at the 37-year-old former NRL star.
Williams had won all of his previous nine heavyweight fights as a professional. Mixed martial arts veteran Hunt picked up his first-ever win in his fourth professional fight and later announced it would be his last.
“I would like to say it was an honor to share the ring with Mark Hunt tonight, the Super Samoan,” Williams said after the fight. “I did my best, but it wasn’t good enough.
“Not too many positives to take from it, but sharing the ring with a legend like Mark was special.”
A delighted Hunt said, “I’m not smiling because of the win, but I’m smiling because that’s the last time I stepped into a fight ring of any kind.”
Williams is only the second person to represent New Zealand in rugby union after first playing for the country in rugby league, and is one of 21 players to have won the Rugby League Cup. world of rugby twice.
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